An internationally respected expert on religious violence, Dr. Charles Selengut, professor of sociology at County College of Morris (CCM), has authored a new book, “Our Promised Land: Faith and Militant Zionism in Israeli Settlements” (Rowman & Littlefield), exploring the radical Israeli Messianic Zionist movement.
The book draws upon years of research and interviews conducted by Selengut in the controversial settlements throughout the contested West Bank. “Our Promised Land” provides readers with insight into the emergence of the radical Israeli Messianic Zionist movement, how the settlements were formed, what the settlers believe and their role in the Middle East today.
“Our Promised Land” has met with high praise and earned a Starred Review from Booklist, which describes the book as “an invaluable resource for everyone studying modern Israel.”
Selengut also is the author of “Sacred Fury: Understanding Religious Violence” (AltaMira Press). He has lectured at conferences worldwide on the rise of fundamentalist religion and violence and spoken many times at the United Nations addressing topics related to the genesis of religious violence. In 2010, he took part in the 10th Annual International Conference on Terrorism’s Global Impact held in Israel.
“Religion has two faces,” he says. “One is love, concern and helping the poor and disenfranchised. The other face is ‘We are right and everyone else is wrong, so we can legitimately kill in the name of religion.’” He says it is important to acknowledge both of those realities.
Selengut joined the CCM faculty in 1970. He received his B.A. from Brooklyn College, his M.A. from New School University, and his Ph.D. from Drew University. Included among his honors and recognitions, he was named a member of the McArthur Foundation “Project on Fundamentalism,” a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at Harvard University, and was a 1997 finalist for the Carnegie Professor of the Year Award.